Christoval's Cobi Woodfin nails down college baseball dream

·3 min read
Christoval High School's Cobi Woodfin, seated, poses for a photo with his baseball teammates during a reception Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Christoval, after Woodfin signed to continue his playing career for Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan.
Christoval High School's Cobi Woodfin, seated, poses for a photo with his baseball teammates during a reception Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Christoval, after Woodfin signed to continue his playing career for Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan.

CHRISTOVAL — He’s been to Mongolia. Twice.

Even if it lands him on the shore of Lake Superior, Christoval High School’s Cobi Woodfin says it's worth it to follow his dream of playing college baseball.

On the last day of school in 2022, Woodfin was joined by his teammates – many of whom are part of the first senior class of Cougar baseball – as he committed to play for Finlandia University, a NCAA Division III program located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Hancock, Michigan is more specifically located on the Keweenaw Peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Superior.

"It's the third-snowiest city in the U.S.," said the 5-8, 150-pound first baseman.

Separated from the main portion of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula lies due north of the state of Wisconsin, where most of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams call home.

“I always try to be a hard player,” Woodfin said. "You just give it all you have. You just jump in.”

Woodfin was describing his role as a key reserve on the regional finalist Cougar basketball team but the sentiment could easily sum up his path to college baseball.

“I watched a college baseball game for the first time on TV when I was a kid and I said, ‘I want to do that,’ " he said. "I even remember who was playing. It was Vanderbilt and Mississippi State and I just knew then that I wanted to do that.”

While attending San Angelo Cornerstone Christian School, Woodfin played Little League. Upon entering junior high at Cornerstone, it was obvious he needed a school with a baseball program.

It was in Mongolia visiting his sister and her family who were missionaries in the mountainous country located about 7,000 miles from Texas and in the neighborhood of Russia, China and Korea, where Woodfin first learned of his future at Christoval High School.

“Y’all are moving schools next year because Christoval has baseball,” Woodfin’s father stated while the family was 18 hours by plane away from American soil.

About that time, Christoval was playing its first “outlaw” season before being aligned into a district for the 2019 season. Woodfin and his fellow seniors not only made the playoffs for the first time in school history (2019) but won a playoff game for the first time (2022).

“That was quite the feeling,” said Woodfin, who was the final out of first-round playoff losses in 2019 and 2021 to bookend the COVID-canceled 2020 season. “It was getting over that hump. And this year, we did it pretty handily.”

Christoval beat Hamlin 21-0 (5) in bidistrict before falling in an area-round series sweep to Anson.

“It was a cool experience and something I won’t ever forget.”

Speaking to his teammates, the first Christoval baseball player to go on to the next level said, “It started from nothing but we turned it into a little bit of something.”

Christoval baseball coach Casey Otho said that Woodfin was a vital part of the program’s growth and thanked him for “helping to develop the program and setting that standard for the future of Christoval baseball.”

Achievement earned through hard work on the field inspired Woodfin when potential college coaches didn’t reply at all or dropped him after a first encounter.

“You can get down on yourself, but eventually, you get one,” he said. “If you’re good enough, someone is going to give you a chance.”

Amy McDaniel is a multimedia sports journalist. Send news tips to amy.mcdaniel@gosanangelo.com. Consider supporting West Texas journalism with a subscription to GoSanAngelo.com.

This article originally appeared on San Angelo Standard-Times: Christoval's Cobi Woodfin signs to play baseball at Finlandia University